Daily Archives: February 27, 2011

Press Release Bookends for NetDevil and LEGO Universe.

In with a press release.

The LEGO Group Selects NetDevil To Create Branded MMOG

Billund, Denmark – March 5, 2007 – The LEGO® Group today announced it has commenced a working relationship with NetDevil® to develop a massively multiplayer online gaming experience to further engage its dedicated and active community.
“As children around the world continue to spend more time online, we are developing new and engaging ways for them to interact with our brand,” said Lisbeth Valther Pallesen, Executive Vice President, Community, Education and Direct Division LEGO Group. “The LEGO brand represents construction, creativity and problem solving – values that complement the MMOG market. By merging the online world of social interaction with physical play, the LEGO brand is providing new experiences for children, as well as fans. NetDevil’s technological capability, openness to work with a large community, and enthusiasm for the LEGO brand make them a natural partner.”
“Playing with LEGO bricks and developing online worlds are both creative activities. To bring them together is deeply professionally satisfying and we look forward to working with the LEGO team,” said Scott Brown, president of NetDevil.

About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group (www.LEGO.com) is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials for children, employing approximately 4,500 people globally. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO products can be purchased in more than 130 countries.
LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group. ©2006 The LEGO Group.

About NetDevil, LTD
NetDevil is a leading independent game development company that specializes in the creation and construction of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). Founded in 1997, under the inspiration of JumpgateTM, the world’s first massively multiplayer space simulator, the company carries on a commitment to creating interactive, virtual worlds in unique and elaborate settings. Led by a development team of talented and experienced industry veterans, NetDevil has grown to over 50+ employees with plans to hire and retain top industry talent for work on its large-scale projects in development. All NetDevil employees share a common vision to bring the mysteries of new and exciting worlds to life as immersive online universes. NetDevil is a privately held company, with headquarters in Louisville, CO.

Out with a press release:

February 24, 2011 – SAN MATEO, Calif. – Gazillion Entertainment and LEGO System A/S jointly announced today that Gazillion agreed to sell its rights in the development of the LEGO Universe massively-multiplayer online game to the LEGO Group, the publisher of the game. The majority of LEGO Universe development team members, formerly part of Gazillion’s NetDevil subsidiary, have been offered employment by the LEGO Group, who will continue game development and operations from the current Louisville, Colorado studio.

“We’re excited about the launch of LEGO Universe, and are happy to have the developers officially join the LEGO team,” said Jesper Vilstrup, Vice President at the LEGO Group. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment both to the ongoing success of LEGO Universe and to an overall strategy to expand our brand online.”

“Gazillion’s focus is developing, operating, and publishing the next generation of browser-delivered games,” said David Brevik, Gazillion Entertainment President and COO. “We’re proud of the game our team built, and are certain that it has a bright future. The transition of members of our team to the LEGO Group enables us to focus completely on internally-published, free-to-play game businesses.”

LEGO System A/S entered into a work-for-hire relationship with NetDevil to build LEGO Universe in 2006. In 2008, Gazillion Entertainment acquired NetDevil. The acquisition of the rights to the game and the ability to transition members of the team to continue work on the game follows the fulfillment of the LEGO Universe development contract. Gazillion will move its other NetDevil projects to a new location.

About LEGO Systems A/S
The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities through its products, which can be purchased in more than 130 countries. Visit www.LEGO.com

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group. (c) 2011 The LEGO Group.

About Gazillion Entertainment
Gazillion Entertainment is a privately held developer and publisher of free-to-play online games for everyone. Gazillion’s games feature revered brands and original properties, superior production quality and unmatched gameplay. Gazillion Entertainment is headquartered in San Mateo, California. For more information on Gazillion Entertainment and its studios please visit www.gazillion.com.

I included the “About” sections of the press releases just to juxtapose what changed and what remained the same.  LEGO is still LEGO, and their stock statement is basically the same.

NetDevil though, has lead a more turbulent existence.  Jumpgate, Jumpgate Evolution, Warmonger,  and Auto Assault leave something of a mixed legacy for the company.  And even LEGO Universe has its issues.

And Gazillion… well, their statement sounds like a dozen other companies that are hot at the moment.  What more revered brand than LEGO will then be working with I wonder?  Tupperware?

I’m glad to see that the team working on LEGO Universe will be able to carry on.  But this is yet another marker for where the money is going these days.

All Set for Pokemon Black and White

It is almost here.

Pokemon Black and White editions are set to be released in the US on March 6th, which is just a week away.

And we are all ready in our household.

We have completed Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

Well, I have completed SoulSilver.  My daughter is a couple of steps shy.

I have defeated all of Team Rocket, become the undisputed regional champion, and captured all of the legendary Pokemon in the game.

I have also unlocked all of the Pokewalker routes, because I wear my Pokewalker every single day… and I make it a point to leave my desk and actually go for a walk at least once a day.

Pokewalker on my Belt

Yes, I cheated a little bit.  But that did not last.  So most of my Pokewalker steps are legitimate.

And, of course, thanks to some serious OCD, I completed the National Pokedex… including the extras.

After that, we turned our eyes to Pokemon Black and White pre-launch events.

We have been to GameStop on three occasions to download the three shiny legendary Pokemon.

Raikou, Entei, and Suicune

They unlock a special encounter with Zoroark when transferred into Black or White.

We have been to the Pokemon Black and White Tour to see previews, get prizes, and of course, to download another special Pokemon.

Mythical Celebi

Without this special Celebi transferred into the game, you won’t be able to encounter Zorua in Pokemon Black and White.

Plush Zorua and Pikachu

Are you starting to see a pattern here?  To complete the next game you have to have done the last game and you have to have downloaded Pokemon from special events along the way.

Oh, and you have to have two Nintendo DS units handy to transfer these Pokemon to the new game.

Still, it does get you out and at least standing next to some other Pokemon fans as we all stand around GameStop and download. (Unless, like us, you get a parking spot close enough to the store that you can sit in your car and do the download.)

Okay, so at least it gets us out of the house.

We also went to Toys R Us to download Ash Ketchum’s Pikachu.

Go Pikachu!

Pikachu doesn’t actually unlock anything in Black and White, and it isn’t like you can’t catch all the wild Pikachu you want in game, but this one is special and he’s just cool to have.

We haven’t gone completely overboard.  We won’t be, for example, ordering the special edition Pokemon Black and White themed Nintendo DSi sets.

I like Pokemon... but maybe not that much

Now it is just the wait for the launch.  March 6th is the date, though we will have to wait a little bit beyond that.  Next week is my birthday and I can’t go out and buy new stuff for myself.

But the delay should be short.

My daughter has already “called” Black, so I will be playing White.

And does it seem odd to anybody else that the legendary Pokemon with Black and White are the opposite color respectively?